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Us 5, Bic 2, Mccarthy 2, Sweeney 2, Pamela 1, Ted Yamasaki 1, Pamela Levin 1, Irvin Comminsky 1, Del Rosaro 1, David Chiu 1, Brent Lewis 1, Madam 1, Unpermitted 1, Inoperatability 1, The Chinatown 1, Rosemary 1, San Francisco 1, Ed Sweeney 1, Finaled 1, Exfoliation 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    November 15, 2012
    9:00 - 9:30am PST  

they learned about the depth of field or the rule of thirds or that the shadows can give a good contrast. some of the things they come up with are fantastic. that is what we're trying to encourage. these kids can bring up the creativity and also the love for photography. >> a lot of people come into my classes and they don't feel like they really are creative and through the process of working and showing them and giving them some tips and ideas. >> this is kind of the best kept secret. you should come on and take a class. we have orientations on most saturdays. this is a really wonderful location and is the real jewel to the community. >> ready to develop your photography skills? the harvey milk photo center
focuses on adult classes. and saturday workshops expose youth and adults to photography classes.
. >> if our comments and whatever wrk we need to do, we could be as efficient as possible it would be greatly appreciated by everybody. just a few announcements. we got a thank you letter to the
dbi staff, del rosaro from the permit department gtd a thank you letter. dbi staff were very helpful to mr. chin's reopening of his new business, ming khee restaurant, a good example of the staff doing their thing it make sure that smaller business got reopened again. i know the mayor's office was very happy about that. the small business when they are in this type of trouble it's great that we can help out. another 4-alarm fire unfortunately took place. as a consequence of that severe damage occurred, the director issued two emergency orders for the demolition of both, one
west portal and one at (inaudible) west portal. the orders had 15 days to file for a required demolition permit and take other specified steps to comply with that order. as of today, one west portal is underway and we're expecting the order of 9 to 15 west portal, which we got an update they had a meeting about that today, they have submitted a private engineer's report that documents the building is repairable and thus may not need demolition but we will give an update on that. as we did during the earlier ocean avenue tragedy, dbi is working closely with the property owners, businesses and the mayor's offices and other city departments to expedite recovery from the west portal fire and i know a lot of the staff members had to spend some extra hours over the weekend to make sure that things were
going well. we appreciate that. i went by and saw deputy director sweeney hanging out to see if he could help. it plays well with our community that you are out there and talking during these difficult times. the director and deputy director, ed sweeney and also i was at this meeting, there were a few names here, met with supervisor jane (inaudible) on monday to discuss legislation that she is considering that amends supervisor david chiu's vacant building ordinance. it was a productive discussion and we look forward to working with the supervisor to finalize her proposal amendments with review and recommendations and that will come in front of us, to the code advisory committee and the bic eventually but just another good example how when everybody gets together problems get solved and can be a good outcome for amendments for legislation, particularly the board of supervisors.
supervisor kim also worked with dbi housing inspection staff on new legislation addressing the additional department of hub health action steps to deal more effectively with the bedbugs infections which we read a lot about that in the papers. the supervisor is most appreciative with dbi assistance with the drafting of this ordinance. dbi chinese-speaking volunteers will be at another community outreach event from 11 am to 2 pm, the chinatown resource fair. if you are in the vicinity please stop by and be good to see people from the department. that, madam secretary, concludes my president's announcement. >> is there any public comment on the president's announcement? seeing none, item 3, general public comment, bic will take public comment on
matters within the commission's jurisdiction that are not on the agenda. >> good afternoon, commissioners. >> before we start i'd like to read the ground rules. any personal comments regarding the staff will not be tolerated. >> my name is spencer gosh, i have been a building inspector for 30 years. i would like for people who have problems with the department to come to public comment. as with all my previous appearances before this commission, i do not wish to be here. i am here because of your continuous and repeated failures to address the problems within the department. i with prefer to not work in the toilet of a workplace your actions and inactions have made. i have previously complained about the racist and
bullying in hiring and job assignments. you have done nothing. i have previously complained about the confusion created by not having policies and procedures. this confusion costs the department millions of dollars annually and collectively our customers even more than that. you have done nothing. i have previously complained about the illegal transfer of funds from this department to politicians so the department is impacted to the point of inoperatability, you have done nothing. i have previously complained to you that this advice is in error and you are the governmental body responsible for the department of building inspection and its malfunction. i have urged you to seek outside counsel, both to correct your erroneous legal advice. i will be filing formal xlaipblts regarding the city attorney and i continue to urge you to seek outside
counsel. your willful failures (inaudible) while i now have to far formally recognize your impotence, i see you people as little more than criminals. which brings me to the mayor. this commission is the mayor's puppet show. our dishonest, lying mayor who has been informed of these problems and does nothing. once again, i urge you to seek outside counsel. my purpose is to is no longer to expect any action on your part, i am here to reiterate what some of the problems are and confirm your unwillingness to perform the
duties to correct the problems. i show my due diligence at this level and will now take further steps to correct your failings. thank you for listening, see you next month. >> i am john (inaudible), building inspector. i would like to say congratulations to our building inspection team. thanks to you, your leadership, we have the highest morale we have ever had in the department. we have just one disgruntled employee out of 250, approximately. i think that's a pretty good track record. we hear that particular individual month after month here inviting others, they are not showing up. i am not aware of any. keep up the good work. thank
you. . >> president mccarthy, honorable commissioners, my name is irvin comminsky. i am here to request that you take an interest in this case and help me address the problems and my tenants so we can solve the issues that the building has. there is one item i think may be ripe for your consideration and that was an order of abatement that was posted on april 18th and it probably should have moved to your commission for consideration and the 2655 folks have filed plans on may the 7th or 2nd, i believe, and i've seen those plans now and unfortunately they have
languished in city planning for all these months. and the good folks in city planning have requested additional information which has never been forthcoming and the plans that i have seen, i have challenged because they are simply inaccurately portraying the existing realities on the ground. i think this is going to go on for a very long time. i'm in my fourth year in trying to get this thing resolved. my retaining wall is going to continue to rotate and it shows a greater rotation than it did a year and a half ago. the problems all continue as yet another winter approaches. the single biggest problem that we have is that as these violations were brought in one by one, secretly on the part of those folks, they are attempting to resolve it in the same way by simply reversing the process and trying to take item by item before the
building department by trying to get it permitted and christened the red headed child. unfortunately this has to be looked upon as a entity because it all functions as a system with regard to the retaining wall. not only is there the soil pressure, all my engineers have worked out the issues that my hundred-year-old building that was built in 1912 as one of the first apartment buildings in calhollow and is on the 1976 historic asset list, that gravity wall, retaining wall, cannot sustain the kind of pressure that has been brought on it by the nonconforming unpermitted structures. and the kinds of estimates of the pressure, both the lateral pressure and the monen pressure, the lateral pressure at 1 foot height of fill is over 210 percent and over the moment frame it goes
up to 250 percent, as i think i've written in my notes. the point is we hope this doesn't come down. there is an over 20,000-pound planter on it with 6 foot trees. none of this is really visible on the plans that were submitted to city planning and when i point it out to them they are rather amazed, they are, gee, that doesn't show it. i hope you can take an interest in this case and help me resolve it. >> thank you for your comments. >> is there any additional public comment? seeing none, item 4, update on the department's issuance of and response to notices of violation. >> good evening,
commissioners, ed sweeney, deputy director of permit services. since our last update of the condition of the complaints and notices of violations, like i told you before, we abated approximately 2,000 either or complaints or nov's and that was the easy stuff, that was the low-hanging fruit, that was housekeeping, it was us going back 10, 15 years ago and finding permits that had been taken out and not finaled, a lot of duplicate nov's and what have you. so now we come down it a little more difficult stuff, to make the changes what we did is we first what we do, instead of having one director's hearing, we made one just for housing,
one for building. rosemary of course will speak for housing inspection services. what building did is we tripled the amount of director's hearings going forward. we put additional staff into code enforcement to go after the first and second notices of violation that seemed to be languishing and push them forward. on that note, one of the inspectors we put there, he is out ill due to a knee replacement. we expect him back probably in november, december, january. we do have one extra person up there working and as the amount of inspections decrease we can put probably more inspection staff assigned to it. we are also waiting for civil service exam which we figure
will occur sometime in late november for the 6331 position, which is building inspector. that process should probably take 2, 2 1/2 months. we're expecting by january-february to hire more building inspectors, one of whom we will assign to code enforcement and again that person's primary responsibility will be to push these first and second notice of violations forward and capture more directors hearings, more orders of abatement. other than that, i'll let rosemary give you the his >> thank you, i just want to complement ed because the report you just got is nr someone who is now the deputy director over another division, yet he is keeping track of this and being as helpful as he can
with this and i commend him for his leadership. with respect to the housing division, i want tolg back to some numbers i gave you last year so you can see a comparison. when i first reported to you the number of open cases that we had in the housing division back in march 26, 2012, was about 4,891 cases. we have been reduced that today with respect to that time frame to 3,359. that's a reduction of about 1500 cases and these are the cases, everything that's in complaint tracking up to march of 2011 and we've now gotten in another 1300 complaints from that period of time. so as you can see, we are steadily with the housing inspectors that we have, despite the fact we have 5 vacancies and the department is working to fill those, we are steadily reducing the number of
active cases. now, that story in and of itself is not complete. what you need to know, as ed said, we are sending a lot more cases to director's hearing because we now have an exclusive half day once a week. we have increased the number of cases going there. if you look at the fourth quarter this year compared to last year, july, august and september, we're 33 percent, an increase, as we get more clerical help we will be able to increase that even more. so we are sending more cases to director's hearing. what about assessment of costs and billing? for the same period of time, july, august and september of this year compared to july, august and september of last year, since we are focusing on trying to get rid of older cases, spending a lot more time on case management, this last this time we billed $126,538 for
that period last year. this year it's $311,000. so obviously that's like 146 percent jurp. why is that the case? because we're focusing on those cases. what does that mean as far as the total number of inspections for the year they're going down because the inspectors are spending time on billing, sending cases to director's hearing, dealing with the city referrals that involve multiple properties, property owners. you've been made aware of the blanding case, we got $800,000 on that. we're seeing the response to that but we're doing this despite our vacancies and not establishing a backlog. so we're still able to maintain the response of one and two days as new cases are coming in. obviously we'll respond to life safety hazards generally within one business
day, nonlife/safety hazards within two business days. we're being very creative and using the resources we have to do this and also working on trying to get the staff vacancies filled. we're making great progress. i think i characterized this last time as deep exfoliation. i think by the end of the year we will pick up on new routine inspections although we're still dealing with the no shows and that gives us enough on our plate to deal with. we are doing all this, as the president of the commission indicated, there's a lot of legislation we've been invited to participate in the front end, which we're happy to do, but we will be taking on a bunch of new procedures the beginning of the year so we're trying to set that up as well. i'm pretty excited about the way things are going. >> yeah, i think -- commissioners, any comment there?
rosemary, i think one of the, i mean obviously we have a long road here to go, but i think this kind of might have addressed to bill as well. i think you've been doing a pretty good job. with these settlements there's an idea we have to spend a lot of money, a lot of cases to get these. i'm finding out these good settlements obviously that the dollar amounts used to get there is not that bad, actually, from the city -- i keep asking that question and i keep getting the right answers back. i wonder if it's something we need to promote more within the department that we good after these cases and if they are the right one, the ones that we definitely need to go after, we don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good settlement. >> that's exactly right, commissioner, and i will tell you, without disclosing anything from closed door settlements, the commissioners are asking all the right questions. that's a good
mechanism for staff and the commission and the executive management of the department to look at these cases and determine, you know, what is the best course of action. so i think you are doing a great job in what's been going on in those meetings. >> i just wanted to say to rosemary thank you so much for your responsiveness and for your hard work. i think it's much appreciated by us. thank you. >> i wanted to thank you guys as well. one request i think that we had last year was if we could get some kind of stats on the regular violators. the nov's sometimes seem to bunch up with just a few property owners or a couple of folks so if we could kind of get those kind of stats and maybe we can encourage staff to focus on the
main violators, that would be helpful. >> i can definitely put something together for you. as the litigation subcommittee, they are seeing those property owners, they are referred to the city attorney when it's appropriate. >> commissioner. >> thank you for doing all this. i feel that it's very important that the department respond quickly to these nov's and do them in a timely manner because if we don't respond to them and the recipients of the nov's can think we're being lazy, relaxed, they will forget us or whatever, we don't want that to happen. if that's the case there might be repeat offenses and problems, more problems come up in the future. so i encourage you once you clear these backlog let's keep on top of them and let's not fall back and lose some of these cases. >> is there public comment? do we do public comment here?
>> is there any public on item 4? seeing none, item 5, discussion on progress of recruitment for executive search firm regarding hiring of a permanent director for the department. >> commissioners, in front of you in your package you would have had the department of building inspection, i'll just read it here, for the city and county of san francisco is seeking a new director/building official. if you read through this, this is what was put together with the help of pam and the department which was sent then to the managing director, managing deputy director, ted yamasaki, at the department of human resources. he kind of went over that and made sure that it fit the
correct language and that all the points were covered. i will say i believe pam did a great job putting it together and we came back with very little comments and i felt reassured it was good enough to give him the direction to send out, which he did. i asked him for an update and if you will bear with me, i will read what he sent to me. the request for infr malproposal drafted by pamela and finalized by dhr were sent out via email from brent lewis to the list of preapproved contractors on october 2, 2012. the deadline for submission is october 22, 2012. we asked replies be sent directly to me. to date i have received one proposal but my experience is many contractors will wait until the last minute to submit
their proposal. given the published guidelines i am expecting a summary of cost be sent to president mccarthy. without having to draw it out, that is it in the elevator speech with where we are with everything at this stage. if there was any questions or any any ideas that the commission might want to put forward, now would be a good time to talk about them and we can definitely bring them up to ted when we meet him again the next time. commissioners. >> i have one question. what is the nature of an informal versus formal proposal? >> could i get somebody who would be best to answer that question? thank you, pam. i know the commissioner knows
the answer. >> pamela levin, department of building inspection. pardon my voice, i've been really sick. so because this was already a, there was already an rft, which is a request for qualifications put out to executive search firms, we were saying this already exists, overarching, and we were sending out saying we're not sending you this long song and dance that needs to be in this format. this is what you need to address, you need to give us this information and because you are already prequalified that will reduce the amount of hoops you have to go through a second time. that's why it was informal. a formal is similar to what we had to do for the permit tracking system where we went through a lengthy process of requesting people to bid on a
specific topic meeting all these criteria and they had to have all these financial kinds of requirements. the other thing is because this is a preapproved list that once we get back the information, the proposals from the various entities, we can select them in a rather expeditious way we can select them without going through a long song and dance. normally you have major groups that are going to be together and lists of what will be approved and that's why it's formal versus informal. more than you needed to know, probably. >> no, i noted in point no. 4 in the material that is before us under background, one of the criteria was being able to address a politically charged environment. and if there's a